Case Study

Managing Professional Growth

The situation

BlessingWhite works with Philips across the world, on a variety of assignments with materials translated into a number of different languages. This case represents an aspect of our work in Europe and offers some personal insights from the executives we work with in The Netherlands.

As a leading international business operating in some highly competitive sectors (including semi-conductors, lighting, medical and consumer electronics) the key to Philips’ continued success is innovation. For Philips employees to contribute to that culture of innovation they must be satisfied their career aspirations are being – and can continue to be – met. If employees have faith the business can offer a fulfilling career they will be motivated to stay, to think creatively – to innovate.

Philips provides a ‘core curriculum’ for managers and professionals called the One Philips Way of Learning. This provides development opportunities in three core areas:

  • leveraging personal expertise
  • leveraging a function
  • leveraging a business

Underpinning these three areas is a requirement to ensure individuals both accept responsibility for their own career development and have the knowledge and tools to take on that responsibility. Senior management are keen that managers do not feel career development is something that is done to them. All employees need to have a proactive approach to careers – seeking out opportunities to grow within current jobs and seeking new opportunities right across the Philips world. Just because an employee starts in one division doesn’t mean they have to stay there.

The approach

Working with BlessingWhite, Philips have developed a structured approach to individual development planning (IDP) based on the BlessingWhite program Managing Personal Growth (MPG). This approach underpins the whole One Philips program and is seen as a core skill which enables individuals to assess their own career values – aligning them with those of the business – as well as take stock, on an ongoing basis, of their skill set and employability. The difference IDP brings to other career planning tools is structure and a strong values foundation. If people don’t have a strong desire to work they won’t be as effective as they could be – they become passengers. IDP helps them to sort out what they really want from their careers.

The reason we use MPG is to increase both personal satisfaction and the impact of individuals on the company.” Rupert Schindler, Program Account Manager, Philips

The results

Philips has seen a step change in the way managers consider their own career paths. IDP helps them think beyond their current situation and understand that they have the ability to influence the way they undertake their current role. It helps individuals realize there are other ways to have a fulfilling career than to move up the promotional ladder. The real evidence of the effectiveness of this approach is its longevity and popularity within Philips:

Managing Personal Growth made me realize just how much more I could get out of my current job and that it was up to me to do something different.” (2005 participant quote)

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